Gilchrist takes control

A smashing century from man-of-the-match Adam Gilchrist has led Australia to a six wicket victory over Sri Lanka in game eight of the VB series at the WACA Ground.

Sri Lanka won the toss and batted, making 233-8 before Australia reached 237-4 in the 41st over, falling just short of the bonus point.

Gilchrist thumped 116 from 105 balls in an awesome display of power and timing, combining with Simon Katich for a 191-run opening partnership to set up the win.

However, the pair began the chase cautiously, scoring just 17 runs from the first five overs before breaking the shackles with some glorious strokes.
Akalanka Ganegama was brought into the attack to stem the tide, but received little respect from Gilchrist as he smashed 20 runs from the super sub's first over to bring up his half century, off 44 balls.

Sri Lanka seemed powerless as the 100 partnership was brought up, the run-rate approaching six runs an over as Australia surged towards the bonus point.

Muttiah Muralitharan almost had the breakthrough, but Sanath Jayasuriya dropped Katich at first slip on 39, with the Australian notching his 50 soon after.

But Gilchrist was not to be outdone, pumping his fist towards the crowd in an outburst of emotion as he reached his ton, coming from 88 balls and including 10 fours and three sixes.

It was left to Muralitharan to end the carnage, catching Gilchrist off his own bowling to the disappointment of the sellout crowd.

Brad Hodge came and went for two, with Chaminda Vaas bowling Katich for 82 before removing Andrew Symonds for five in quick succession.

That left Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke requiring 10 runs from the 40th over to claim the bonus point, however the pair fell just two runs short, Australia forced to settle with the four points.

Earlier, a 121-run partnership between Russel Arnold (56) and Mahela Jayawardene (69) steered Sri Lanka out of trouble after collapsing to 27-3 in the 11th over.

Jayasuriya (0), Kumar Sangakkara (6), and Jehan Mubarak (15) were the batsmen to fall, but it could have been worse with Brad Hogg dropping a difficult chance from Jayawardene at forward square leg.

The Sri Lankan made the most of it, combining with Arnold to steady the ship and lift the run-rate above three an over.

Hogg had the chance to redeem himself when Arnold skied one, but was unable to get a hand to it as he ran back with the flight of the ball.

The missed chances proved costly, with both Jayawardene and Arnold bringing up their half-centuries in the 34th over.

However Arnold's luck ran out three overs later when he was caught at backward point, Clark claiming his well deserved second wicket.

Jayawardene followed soon after, caught by Glenn McGrath at deep fine leg with the score at 170-5.

Late hitting from Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) and Chamara Kappugedara (23) ensured a respectable total for the visitors.

Clark (2-40) was the pick of the bowlers, his good pace and length tying down the batsmen.

Sri Lanka was without captain Marvan Atapattu, who was a late withdrawal with a back injury.

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